Name: The Legends
Writer/director: Jiuliu Feixiang, Yang Qianzi, & Peng Yunriu/ Zheng Weiwen
Date: January 2019
Number of episodes: 56
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Power Struggles
Based on book/manga?: yes, The Legends by Jiuliu Feixiang
Why did I press play? At my wits end waiting for new episodes of Korean drama My Country: The New Age to air.
During which episode was it dropped? Watched the first half and lightly skimmed the rest of the drama.
A few thoughts and observations: Besides a big time jump, the first two dozen episodes are action pacts and draw you in. Beyond that the plot becomes overwhelming and consequently tedious.
- Fantastic acting by the main leads, both actors embody a wide range of emotions and hold your attention in whichever scenes they are in. The standout would be Chen Lan deep looks of longing at the perceived loss of Yao and then his attraction and love for her, once she re-appears in his life.
- The fighting scenes are energetic, full-on and the actors gave it their all. It was convincing.
- The costumes are varied and superb. Looking closely there are numerous textures, colors, fabrics, and details which add to each character and sects traits. The contrast of designs also makes each sect easily identifiable. If you can’t remember a name, you can at least recognize the clothing.
- Character consistency is good. For the most part, characters always acted per their original personality traits. For example. When it comes to romance Mo Qing can still be shy around Yao and it is she who initiates most of the kisses. By nature he was always been somewhat shy around her, therefore the dynamic feels natural. This isn’t to say that the character development was always smooth and reasonable – only that the traits are consistent. For example. Zhao Yao quickly becomes a demoness that ruthlessly kills people (for whatever the reason), where a minute before she was innocent and kind hearted. Yes, she was betrayed, but still.. such a big switch. Fast forward… once she realizes her feelings for Chen Lan, how quickly she gives up her goal to reclaimed her previous sect leader position. Not only that is, but is totally in board with how Chen Lan runs things. Such maturity and change of perspective, was not well explored or developed leading up to before that important moment.
- The over reliance on music to set the tone for each scene. They don’t even give the viewer or the actors a chance to convey what is happening in the story. This removes a lot viewing enjoyment because without thinking the first musical note tells what type of scene to expect. Instead of just watching and seeing what happens, it takes a lot of suspense. We don’t need to pay as much attention because the music will tell us before any dialogue starts.
- The plot instead of being linear ends up being a mosaic. Fragmented pieces that come together to create a whole. Many major plot points are only found out much later than when they occurred. This was fresh the first time it happened, but then that patterns continues and it feels messy. The plot obstacles seem a bit pointless and the “reveals” too late to care about.
- After the halfway mark it seems to the never-ending plot. The moment Yao is “stuck” in that other-world type town (good deeds are the currency), my enthusiasm withered as that was quite a pointless part to create simply to create an obstacle for an obstacle’s sake. It’s also at this point where copious amounts of flashbacks occur. Often they’ll show a scene about 1 minute after the scene happened.
Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Lu Zhao Yao played by Bai Lu
Li Chen Lan/Mo Qing played by Xu Kai
Qin Zhi Yan played by Shane (the girl whose form Yao takes)
Qin Qian Xian played by Li Zi Feng (guy in white and new leader of sect, sect rarely attends meetings)
Jiang Wu play Dai Xu (love triangle guy and wants to take over sect from Len, red hair)
Luo Ming Xuan played by Liu Leo (the man Yao rescues and harbors a crush on)
Liu Su Ruo played by Viola Mi (Xuan finance, holds major grudge against Yao)
Theme: Alls fair in love and war
What it’s good for? To watch good acting, particularly a male lead that will melt your heart.